FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it's just taken a significant step to change roadway signs in the area that still say "Fort Bragg" and update them to say "Fort Liberty" after the military installation's redesignation last month.
The NCDOT said its board has just allocated a special budget of $450,000 to finish converting the signs and that it plans to hire a contractor for the job next month.
The department said it has ordered the new signs which are also expected to arrive by the end of next month. 86 signs throughout Cumberland, Harnett, and Moore counties are going to be changed out with new signs, or get a sticker overlay to replace the name "Bragg" with "Liberty."
"From the highway, it'll look fine, it'll look very seamless," said Andrew Barksdale, a representative for NCDOT. "It's saving taxpayer money."
Barksdale said the NCDOT had to wait until Fort Liberty had made a certain amount of headway with its redesignation before it could pick up steam with changing the street signs. However, he said the department has been working in lockstep with the military installation:
"DOT and Fort Liberty as a military installation, we communicate, we work together, we coexist, we help each other. So you know, we don't work in a vacuum. So, we want to work with them," Barksdale said.
Meanwhile, as Fayetteville currently still has Fort Bragg Road and Bragg Boulevard, city officials said there still hasn't been any effort to change these major street names. Last month, Mayor Mitch Colvin said the street name efforts were taking a backseat to the city's efforts to balance its budget in the face of a shortfall.
However, he said the city council will likely address changing those street names by the start of next year--a move he thinks is necessary.
"At some point, you will want some consistency as you go through the city and you go to the territory," Colvin said. "With this change whenever that happens it will have public hearings and I'm sure you'll start to hear from residents. I've received a few sporadic communications with people from time to time who are concerned that they're going to have to redo letterhead, change businesses, change addresses, and different things. So there will be an impact and we want to make sure that it has the least amount of impact on their financial situation."
The NCDOT said drivers can expect to begin seeing the new signs in September; it plans to update all of these signs by Christmas.